2023 could be one of the biggest years in WWE history, but which superstars are the ones to look out for?
2022 saw Triple H assume leadership as WWE Head of Creative and 2023 is likely to see his vision take full shape. Add in that WrestleMania is in Hollywood, matches and returns for The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, John Cena and Cody Rhodes and even more are in store, and it is a very exciting time to be a wrestling fan.
With this in mind, GiveMeSport takes you through the 23 WWE wrestlers to look out for in 2023…
2023 is likely to be a make-or-break year for the “Original Bro” in WWE after the company recently sent him to rehab. Having been part of one of the hottest acts in RKBro and then challenging Roman Reigns for the Undisputed title, it will be interesting to see if Riddle can get near that level again.
This could be the final year of Edge’s career, 12 years after it originally ended. The Rated R Superstar turns 50 this year and has talked about retirement in recent times. A likely Hell in a Cell match with Finn Balor at the Royal Rumble could be the start of his retirement tour.
21. Carmelo Hayes
Hayes looks likely to challenge Bron Breakker for the NXT title at Stand and Deliver on WrestleMania weekend. Long tipped to become either the black and gold brand’s champion or be promoted to the main roster, 2023 could see him do both.
20. Bron Breakker
The real-life Steiner is in a similar boat to his fellow NXT star. He has been absolutely dominant since debuting in September 2021, holding the title for much of that time. A mega push on the main roster is certain at some point. Will it be 2023?
19. Charlotte Flair
The Queen has not been on WWE TV since WrestleMania Backlash having taken time off for her wedding amongst other reasons. A Royal Rumble return seems highly likely and could see her become the first two-time female winner of the event. She is also one World title away from tying her father and John Cena as a record 16-time champ.
18. Finn Balor
As mentioned, Balor will likely be facing Edge at the Royal Rumble and its rumoured he’ll be bringing out his “Demon” persona once again. Having assumed leadership of The Judgement Day in 2022 and being a favourite of Triple H, this year could see Finn return to the main event after a lengthy absence.
17. Becky Lynch
“The Man” is back in WWE and 2023 is likely to see her once again become a World champ and one of the faces of the company. A feud with Bayley and a potential Royal Rumble win should kickstart a huge 2023 for Becky.
16. Drew McIntyre
Drew or Sheamus could be slotted here, but we’ll go with Drew as it feels more likely he will once again become a World Champion given his age as well as regular main event status in recent years. A heel turn might also be in his future given he’s been babyface for three years now.
15. Bianca Belair
The EST of WWE is absolutely that and 2023 is likely to be no different to her recent years on the main roster. A third consecutive WrestleMania title match is a near certainty, and a record run with a women’s title of the modern era is a real possibility.
14. Bobby Lashley
Lashley is closing out this year in a mini feud with Adam Pearce, which has seen him fired and rehired on-screen. The new year is likely to see Bobby face off in a rubber match with Brock Lesnar and maybe even reform The Hurt Business.
13. Brock Lesnar
Lesnar Lashley III will be absolutely mega, as the two goliaths go head-to-head once more. Another heavyweight clash with GUNTHER at WrestleMania has been mooted for The Beast. As always, Brock will be must-see-tv whenever he turns up.
12. Seth Rollins
The standout in-ring performer in WWE in 2022 stands to have a better 2023 in terms of wins and losses given his now-tweener and likely future babyface status. Another battle with Cody Rhodes, a US title run or claiming a World title again are all big possibilities.
As mentioned, GUNTHER’s debut WrestleMania could come against one of the biggest names in the history of the sport. The current Intercontinental champion, expect the big Austrian to hold the belt well into the new year and probably graduate to main event status.
10. Rhea Ripley
The next face of WWE’s female division, Ripley is unlike many women in WWE history. Her position in The Judgement Day has seen her become a featured star on Raw and might lead to both a Royal Rumble and WrestleMania title win in 2023.
9. Bray Wyatt
Wyatt’s return was definitely one of the biggest of the many in WWE this year. However, fans are still waiting to see what his new character is all about. It could go either way for Bray, but fans hope that Triple H will be able to present the potential megastar better than Vince McMahon ever could.
8. Randy Orton
Orton’s current injury prognosis is hugely worrying for fans of the 20-year legend. What made it all the worse was that he was enjoying one of the best runs of his career in RKBro before being placed on the shelf. Hopefully, RKOs will once again be hit in the new year.
7. John Cena
The Champ is finishing 2022 with his first match of the year in a tag match with Kevin Owens against Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn. This is likely to lead to both a Rumble appearance and a WrestleMania match for one of the biggest stars in WWE history.
6. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Joining Cena as both one of the biggest stars ever and someone who is likely to have a Mania match is The Rattlesnake. Anything Stone Cold does is always big time, and his second match post-return could be even better than his Mania outing opposite Kevin Owens last year.
5. Kevin Owens
How could a Mania match with Stone Cold be topped? It might not be but KO will definitely give it a good shot now he’s once again The Prizefighter. A title match with Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble is on the agenda, which will likely set the path for a huge reunion with Sami Zayn and hopeful tag title win over The Usos at WrestleMania.
4. Sami Zayn
Sami’s 2023 is likely to be fully interlinked with KO’s, like most of their careers have been. The eventual break-up with The Bloodline will be one of the moments of the year and will see Zayn become one of the hottest babyfaces in the industry. It is no less than he deserves after some outstanding work over the last few years.
3. Cody Rhodes
Sami’s spot as top babyface is likely to be challenged only by The American Nightmare. His return at WrestleMania 38 was truly shocking but was cruelly cut short following a serious pectoral injury. His next return will hopefully come in the Rumble where he is one of the heavy favourites. That and/or a World title win will be amongst the most heart-warming moments of 2023.
2. Roman Reigns
Reigns has been the man in WWE for a long time now, and the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion since WrestleMania 38, having held the Universal title for far longer. 2023 is likely to be the year he is dethroned, which will be the biggest title change in recent memory. A WrestleMania main event with Cody or The Rock, Bloodline antics and maybe even a babyface turn are all on the cards.
1. The Rock
The biggest movie star in the world. The biggest name in WWE history. And the man who will change the game in 2023. He could win the Rumble and is almost certain to challenge Roman Reigns at WrestleMania in one of the true dream matches of today. His presence alone on WWE TV will make 2023 a year not to miss.